The New Clipper Ship Thatcher Magoun, of Boston.

This is a beautiful vessel of 1200 tons register. She was named as a compliment to the most eminent shipbuilder of Medford, but before she was completed, he died, full of years and full of honors. The compliment is now an appropriate tribute to his memory -- a memory which will be honored and respected, while Medford, the scene of his labors and his triumphs, holds a place in the history of ship building.

The ship is 173 feet long on the keel, 190 on deck, between perpendiculars, and 200 over all, from the knight-heads to the taffrail. Her extreme breadth of beam is 40 feet; width on deck, opposite the foremast 38, and opposite the mizzen mast, about 35; depth 24 feet, including 8 feet height of between decks; dead rise at half floor, 18 inches, swell 9 inches each side, and sheer 1 foot 8 inches. She has an easy, buoyant fore rake, concave water-lines, but the bow, above the load-line is convex, with flare enough to carry the anchors clear. A full bronzed figure of Thatcher Magoun, placed to correspond with the rake of the stem, ornaments the bow. The figure is said to be an excellent likeness, and we can add, that it sets the bow off to good advantage. Her sheer is so truly graduated her whole length, that, viewed broadside on, she appears almost straight; but bow on, the rise seems lively and yacht-like. The sides are finely rounded, both in their swell and sweep, and her run, though not long or cut up, is clean and beautifully formed. The stern is oval in outline, but rounded in the wake of the monkey rail, and is tastefully ornamented with gilded carved work. She is painted black, and is sheathed with yellow metal up to 19½ feet forward and to a foot higher aft.

The outline of her monkey rail is built solid, and the whole height of her bulwarks is about 5½ feet. She has an open topgallant forecastle, with staterooms under it for the boys, lockers and wing-closets. The house abaft the foremast is 40 feet long, 16 wide, and 6½ high. It contains separate apartments for each watch, also a mess-room distinct from their sleeping quarters, also the galley, a carpenter's workshop, and other useful apartments. She has a half poop deck 75 feet long, the height of the main rail, and its outline is protected by a rail on turned stanchions. Abaft the mizzenmast, there is a square house, which protects the entrance to the cabin, and also contains lounges, and a suitable place for a chart table, signal lockers, &c. The cabin floor is sunk below the line of the upper deck, but the space under the poop, before the cabin, is appropriated for the stowage of sails, cordage, stores, &c.; and that below for the stowage of cargo. Under the cabin floor there is space for another store-room, if required. The after hatch passes through the poop, and is therefore quite convenient for talking out or putting in stores. The staircase which leads to the cabin is of hard wood, and curves towards the sides, so that a person can approach the cabin from either side. At the foot of the stairs there is a spacious vestibule, which is also fitted as a dining-room, and from it may be entered the mates' rooms, the steward's room, the pantry and other apartments. The vestibule is grained in imitation of oak. The after cabin is beautifully wainscoted with satinwood and other fancy cabinet work, and contains convenient staterooms on both sides. It is elegantly furnished, and though not large, is one of the handsomest cabins we have seen for some time. The combings of its skylights, as well as the skylight frames, are of polished mahogany.

More than usual care has been bestowed upon her ventilation. A plank is out of the deck under the sides of the house, the sides of the house are double, with an open space between the doublings, and in each side there are five circular air-ports, so that both sides of the house may be considered open ventilators, or conductors of ventilation. There are also a tier of trunk ventilators along the front of the poop, and two square ventilators under the topgallant forecastle. She has also ventilators along the line of her planksheer, and in her bitts, and a tier of air-ports below. With all these openings, it is confidently expected that she will be as pure below as on deck, and will carry her cargo in perfect order.

Her entire frame is of seasoned white oak, also all the breast-hooks, pointers and knees in the hold; her scantling and deck frames are of hard pine, and she is square-fastened throughout, and butt and bilge-bolted with copper. Her keel is of rock maple, sided 16 inches, and is moulded 26 forward and 8 aft; the floor timbers are 12 by 18 on the keel, and over them there are three tiers of keelsons each 16 inches square. First, there was 1¼ inch yellow metal bolt driven through every floor timber and the keel; second, another bolt of the same size and metal was driven through the first keelson, every floor timber and the keel and rivetted; third, as iron bolt was driven through the second and first keelsons and every navel timber into the keel, within three inches of its base; and fourth, the third keelson was bolted through those below it. She has Briggs' mast-step braces, 8 by 14 inches, which extend her whole length, have an angle under each mast, and are bolted through each other and the keelsons. Her floor ceiling is 4½ inches thick, and on the bilge, commencing inside of the floor timber heads, there are 5 strakes of 12 by 14 inches, all square-fastened, bolted edgeways, and scarphed. The ceiling above varies from 9 to 10 inches in thickness, so that the projection of the ten-inch strakes forms a ledge for the lower ends of the hanging-knees to rest upon. Her clamps are 9 inches thick, lower deck beams 15 by 16 inches, and between-decks waterways 16 inches square. The waterways are let over the beams, and have one strake of 9 by 14 inches inside of them, and two of the same size over them, the whole bolted vertically and horizontally. The ceiling above varies from 5 to 7 inches in thickness, and is squarefasteted. The upper-deck beams are 10 by 15, their waterways 12 by 14, and the covering-board and main rail are each 6 inches thick. The planking of both decks is 3½ inches thick, the upper white pine, and the lower hard pine. She has seven breast-hooks, including the deck-hooks and 5 after-hooks, all of white oak, and bolted from both sides. The lower deck hanging-knees and the stanchions under both sets of beams are also of white oak, strongly secured, and the upper deck knees are of hacmatack. Her mast partners, hatchway combings and bitts are kneed to the deck below, and are very strong, and neatly finished.

The garboards are 7 inches thick, let into the keel, are bolted through it and each other with copper, and are also square bolted through the timbers; the other two strakes are 6 and 5 inches thick, champered down to 4½ inches, the substance of the bottom planking, and the wales are 5½ by 7 inches, carried flush to the planksheer. She is butt and bilge bolted with copper, and many of her treenails are of locust. In workmanship, as well as materials, she is an excellent vessel, and will no doubt wear well and sail very fast.

The after cabin is 15 by 9 feet on the floor, and is wainscotted with mahogany, flowered satinwood, rosewood, &c., and has two beautiful recess-sofas, 6 spacious staterooms, and other apartments, and is elegantly furnished. In its forward partition, there are two panels of plate-glass mirrors, which give a reflected view of the whole cabin; and aft there is a neat mahogany staircase, which leads to the poop. The forward cabin is grained in imitation of oak, set off with gilded lines, and it contains a stateroom, a storeroom, the pantry and a bread-locker. The anteroom contains two neat staterooms, one on each side, for the mates. Her cabins and staterooms, are well lighted and ventilated, and amply furnished with every convenience for the accommodation of passengers.

She has Howes's rig on all three masts, built fore and mainmasts and bowsprit, and hard pine topmasts and jibbooms. The following are the dimensions of her masts and yards:

Diameter. Length. Mast-heads.
Inches. Feet. Feet.
Fore 32 83 14½
Main 33 85 14½
Fore and Main Top 18 46
Topgallant 12 28 0
Royal 10 16½ 0
Skysail 12 pole 8
Mizzen 27 77½ 11½
Top 14 35½ 6
Topgallant 10 17 0
Royal 8 13½ 0
Skysail 6 pole 6
Fore and Main21 80 yard-arms 5
Lower Top 15 68½ 4
Upper Top 16 59 4
Topgallant 12 48
Royal 9 38½
Skysail 7 32 2
Crossjack 17 60 4
Lower Top 13 51½
Upper Top 11 43½ 3
Topgallant 38½
Royal 27½ 2
Skysail 20
The bowsprit is 30½ inches in diameter, and 22 feet outboard; jibboom 17½ inches in the cap, and divided at 18 and 15 feet for the two jibs, and has 5 feet end;

She has a patent windlass, two capstans, a patent steering apparatus, (with Delano's back brace, to keep the rudder fair on the pintles,) a force-pump, good hold pumps, the best of ground tackle, plenty of fine boats, and below an iron water tank of 4500 gallons capacity.

She has a beautiful set of spars, strongly and neatly rigged. They were made by Messrs. Pigeon & Odiorne, and rigged by Messrs. Francis Low & Co., who are among the best spar-makers and riggers in Boston. Aloft, as well as below, she is certainly one of the best and most beautiful vessels of her class, belonging to this port. She was built at Medford, by Messrs. Haydan & Cudworth, the builders of the fine clippers Herald of the Morning, Electric Spark, and many others. Messrs. Magoun & Son own her, and she is commanded by Capt. Sylvanus B. Bourne, who enjoys the reputation of being an active and intelligent seaman, and well acquainted with the California and India trade. The Thatcher Magoun is now loading rapidly in Messrs. Glidden & Williams' line of San Francisco clippers, and will sail about the 15th inst.

The Boston Daily Atlas, May 5, 1856.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.